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Creating the definitive oral history of Achill

Welcome to Achill Oral Histories

A very warm welcome to Achill Oral Histories. We are delighted you have visited our web site. Our mission is to preserve accounts of everyday life by recording the life histories of the Achill people past and present, including the Achill diaspora. We are delighted to have received financial support for the Heritage Council in 2023 to develop our oral history collection. Access our oral history archive by clicking here.

Everyone's story matters and we all have a story to tell. The recording and archiving of our accounts of the past has many benefits, both for individuals and society as a whole. Yet we often overlook the importance of preserving accounts of life as recounted by the Achill people past and present. Achill Oral Histories will bridge this gap in knowledge. Unless recorded, memories of everyday life will be lost forever. Achill Oral Histories is therefore committed to producing the definitive oral history of the Achill people through the systematic recording and archiving of everyday life on Achill. reserved through high quality digital recording and word for word transcripts, events of the past as recounted by the people of Achill will be available for current and future generations.

To discover eye witness accounts of life in Achill past and present, 

listen to our oral history interviews to date. 

For an overview of seminal events and dates which shape Achill's story, have a look at our first ever commemorative calendar.

Ashleam School Centenary Celebrations 2024

We're delighted to be supporting the Kildownet community in preparing for the centenary of Ashleam National School in 2024. We would love to hear from anyone who has any stories about the school. So if you attended the school, have heard accounts of everyday life at the school or have any information on the school, please do get in touch. We're here ready and waiting for your stories!

Train To Remain In Achill. 

Achill Oral Histories is more than a heritage preservation project. We are also committed to the development of skills and competencies so people may maximise employment opportunities in Achill Island and further afield. Like so much of rural Ireland, Achill life has been profoundly affected by mass immigration largely because of the lack of employment opportunities. So help us train people, especially our young people, to have the choice to stay in Achill. Skills such as conducting oral history interviews, research, analysis, writing, sound editing, managing an archive are just some of the competencies which are transferable to different contexts. Further details to follow in 2023. 


Oral History Is A People's History

Before the advent of ink and printed materials, memories of everyday life were passed on from generation to generation using the spoken word. Many such stories exist on Achill. Each day, we begin  a new chapter in our own life histories. The recounting of our personal memories is something which has endured the test of time - and this is oral history. Oral history is history as recollected from the 'bottom up', recalled by those who have actually witnessed events as they unfold. As word leading oral historian Don Ritchie states in his seminal work 'Doing Oral History', "oral history collects memories and personal commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews."  

Our first commemorative calendar of Achill life marks some of the milestones in the island's history. But what dates have we missed? Get in touch to let us know. 

We'd love to hear from all Achill residents past and present, including the Achill diaspora, so all age groups and all household types. So do get in touch Ensure your memories are recorded both now and for future generations. To get involved, click here. 

Preserve Achill's history. Now and forever.

© 2024 Achill Oral Histories. All rights reserved. Material from this web site may not be reproduced and/or used for material gain without written permission from Achill Oral Histories. 

Achill Oral Histories Ashleam National School Ashleam Achill Island Co Mayo Ireland F28 DY03

For further information email us at 

We are proud to be members of Mayo Public Participation Network PPN registration no 01376

Achill Oral Histories is proud to be a member of The Wheel Ireland's national association of community and voluntary organisations, charities and social enterprises membership no G03471

Member of the Community Archive and Heritage Group Ireland and UK

We are also a proud to be a local ambassador for RNLI Achill.

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